Nissan Leaf showcases solar energy benefits with glow-in-the-dark paint
13 February 2015
With its glow-in-the dark paint, Nissan has become the first car manufacturer to showcase, the potential of its all-electric Leaf.
Nissan worked with inventor Hamish Scott, creator of spray-applied coating Starpath, that absorbed UV energy during the day so that it glowed for between eight and 10 hours after sunset.
Though glowing car paint was already available, as also glow-in-the-dark car wraps, the customised, ultraviolet-energised paint created especially for Nissan was unique, thanks to its secret formula comprising entirely organic materials.
It contained an extremely rare natural earth product called Strontium Aluminate, which is solid, odourless and chemically and biologically inert.
Several third-party companies had applied non-organic glow-in-the-dark paint to vehicles before, but Nissan was the first car maker to directly apply such technology. The paint, if made commercially available, would last for 25 years.
The UK's 7,500 Nissan Leaf owners had reported substantial savings with running costs of just two pence or less per mile to run. They were using the money they saved on a wide variety of items - among the more popular of these were solar panels for the home that reduced the household carbon footprint and meant owners were also effectively charging their vehicle for free.
However, Daily Mail reports that the paint option would not be a choice for future customers because the ingredients meant it was unlikely to be used on a large scale.
It would however, be possible for people get the paint applied to their own car or buy UV car 'wraps' to enable their car to glow-in-the-dark.
This would make for easy location of their car in a dark car park, as also make them more visible on pitch black roads.
Nissan told Autoexpress that in the event of the paint being offered, the glow would probably last for around 25 years.
Meanwhile, a trial of the Starpath technology was being conducted a Cambridge city centre, where a spray had been applied to bicycle paths to make them glow.
The luminescent, rain-resistant coating could one day spell the end of street lights.
The coating is applied in three layers, with a middle aggregate stage that absorbs UV energy during the day, and produces a blue glow in the dark.